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Cabinet approves Minister Flanagan’s proposed new legislation to tackle Money Laundering

Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) (Amendment) Bill 2019 approved today

The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan, has today received Cabinet approval for the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) (Amendment) Bill 2019. The Bill transposes many of the provisions of the Fifth EU Money Laundering Directive.

This Bill will strengthen existing anti-money laundering legislation and will give effect to provisions of the Fifth EU Money Laundering Directive. The Bill includes provisions to:

  • prevent risks associated with the use of virtual currencies for terrorist financing and limiting the use of pre-paid cards;
  • improve the safeguards for financial transactions to and from high-risk third countries;
  • broaden the scope of designated bodies under the existing legislation;
  • enhance the customer due diligence (CDD) requirements of the existing legislation;
  • prevent credit and financial institutions from creating anonymous safe-deposit boxes;
  • include a number of technical amendments to other provisions of the Acts already in force.

The Bill also allows for provisions which are not required by the Directive but will support CAB and An Garda Síochána with regard to their power to access bank records and the administration of their functions in respect of anti-money laundering.

Announcing the new Bill, the Minister said:

This is another important piece of legislation for tackling money-laundering. The reality is that money laundering is a crime that helps serious criminals and terrorists to function, destroying lives in the process. Criminals seek to exploit the EU’s open borders and EU-wide measures are vital for that reason. Ireland strongly supports the provisions in the Fifth EU Money Laundering Directive.

Minister Flanagan added

This new Bill builds on a suite of Government measures to tackle white collar crime - an additional focus by Gardaí on fraud and similar types of offences and the provision of a Garda Confidential Line for the reporting of Bribery and Corruption by members of the public - as well as the enactment of a landmark piece of legislation - the Corruption Offences Act 2018.

CAB has had a very successful 2018 with a huge increase in its targets. Its operations make clear to criminals that crime will not pay. I urge anyone with concerns that people are benefitting from the proceeds of crime to contact CAB in confidence.

Likewise, I urge anyone with concerns about bribery and corruption to make use of the Garda confidential line.

The Garda Confidential Line for those with concerns about bribery and corruption: 1800 40 60 80.
The Criminal Assets Bureau Confidential Line: 01 6663266.

Minister Flanagan concluded:

So-called white collar crimes will not be tolerated in Ireland. We are building a very robust legal framework and further developing vital expertise within An Garda Síochána. My message to criminals is clear: those engaging in corruption or money laundering in Ireland will not get away with their crimes.

Note to Editors:

While the Bill transposes certain elements of the Fifth EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive, the Department of Finance is also engaged in giving effect to certain provisions of the

Directive, including those relating to:

  • facilitating increasing transparency on who really owns companies and trusts by establishing beneficial ownership registers;
  • ensuring the creation of, and access to, centralised national bank and payment account registers or central data retrieval.